Twenty-five years ago independent filmmakers in Hamburg came together to create a no budget film festival in comparison to the mainstream festivals. As with all good ideas, it became popular for its earnestness and has since grown to be a large budget festival while retaining the heart of a small budget.
Filmfest Hamburg occurs annually at the end of September for 10 days. They make a concentrated effort to show films from countries that would never have the chance to screen their films in cinemas. They pride themselves in being a world cinema and internationally oriented. This unique festival is very audience based, which means almost anyone, can watch any film that is shown. Seventy percent of the films have guests, which is staggering in comparison to the often exclusive Cannes or Berlinale. With Filmfest Hamburg you have the unique pleasure of having direct contact to the filmmakers and the industry, a dream come true for cinephiles.
Every year there is a retrospective on a specific country with this year’s spotlight being Mexico. A director from that country picks 9 classic films and you can see them come alive again on the big screen.
50,000 people flock to the festival to watch 120 twenty films in 10 days. The city brims with unique visitors from all over the world all sharing a common passion: films. In this festival the moviegoer is celebrated, included in the talks and special showings. Filmfest Hamburg understands that in this industry it is not only about the filmmakers. The people that come to watch are also invested, interested, and central to the industry.
In spite of its wide popularity, this festival has retained the principles it was founded on; a festival that connects the people to the artists. Filmfest does not take funding from the film industry, preserving its integrity to neutrality. It is no wonder that the famed actress Catherine Denevue was there last year to open festival. This year will no doubt bring even more surprises, rare independent as well as mainstream films, and opportunities to unite the artists with the fans.
Tip: Don’t miss the screening of Opera House’s season opener
You get all information about the festival, films and program HERE!
Dates: September 29- October 8, 2016